Rebecca Keating, the City of Stirling Strategic Marketing Officer recently volunteered as a mentor in the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program. Rebecca was mentoring Gauri Thanasingam who migrated to Australia from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, less than a year ago. Gauri wanted to re-enter the workforce in Perth and reached out to the program for guidance and networking opportunities to meet contacts in her field in Australia.
Why did you sign up to be a mentor?
I signed up to be a mentor because I had heard about the program, and also heard first hand from people who had been mentees about the success of the program. I was looking for ways to develop my coaching and leadership skills, and ways to give back to my profession.
I also wanted to be able to draw upon some of the wonderful contacts I have from my profession, who have always given such great advice to me, and that I knew could share this advice with someone who could really benefit.
What was the best part of being a mentor?
Being able to see the changes in Gauri and her positive feedback was great. She has now secured a job in her field and so to say I am so proud and happy for her is an understatement.
What did you personally take away by being a mentor on the program?
A great friend and contact in my industry. Gauri has so much experience and so much knowledge across many areas of marketing, and much more. She is definitely someone I can learn from. I really was able to develop my coaching skills, and it really forced me to delve into what the industry is looking for and understand how to showcase this in the form of a CV, interview or even when networking.
Did you learn any new skills?
Refining a CV was something really great to work on as writing one for myself has always come quite naturally for me. Gauri’s CV was so detailed because of how much experience she has, so we really had to work together to fine-tune it and present her skills in a way that was digestible.
Working on my coaching skills also forced me to be able to explain to Gauri how to change her resume, and provide notes on what to do, without actually doing it for her- this was a struggle for me to start off with because I am used to just re-writing things- for friends, family members and so on.
What was challenging?
As I said before it was challenging to know how to frame my notes and workings into a way that Gauri could make sense of then, rather than just re-writing things for her. I am really pleased that I was able to develop these skills.
Would you recommend the program to the other professionals looking to be a mentor?
Absolutely- if you have some spare time, it really is worthwhile.